Which Is Better – Acrylic Coatings or Penetrating Sealers?

Acrylic coatings

Acrylic coatings

Whether you have decorative concrete applied to a pool deck, patio, kitchen floor, driveway, wall, or something else, it is essential to have it sealed. As a second layer of protection, the sealer not only keeps the surface beautiful but also extends its life. The question is, which option is better, acrylic coatings or penetrating sealers?

Although there are many different types of sealers, the two that installers use most often are acrylic coatings and penetrating sealers. While both do an excellent job, they work in unique ways.

Acrylic Sealers

Take SunClear UltraProtect as a perfect example. The best-selling clear acrylic sealer on the market, this product forms a protective film on top of the decorative concrete. Similar to wearing a raincoat during a storm, the sealer creates a water-resistant barrier, making it perfect for outdoor applications.

For acrylic sealers, you can select between a water- and solvent-based formula. Either way, tiny particles of acrylic solids are suspended in the liquid carrier. Applied wet, once the water or solvent dries or evaporates, those particles form the protective film. The main difference between the two is that a water-based acrylic coating typically darkens the surface and has a glossier appearance. In comparison, a solvent-based coating produces a matte-like finish with only slight gloss.

Penetrating Sealers

On the other hand, penetrating sealers usually contain silicates, silane, or siloxane, which reacts with the decorative concrete instead of forming a film on the surface. The result is a hydrophobic substance that covers the pores. In other words, penetrating sealers fill pores, sealing the surface from within. As for appearance, there is virtually no change when using penetrating sealers.

The Bottom Line

While both options are excellent, a lot of home and business owners go with a superior-quality acrylic sealer. Although clear sealers are still a popular choice, you can have color added to change or enhance the appearance of the decorative concrete surface.